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Saturday, October 16, 2010

North Korea Vows to Attack South Over Propaganda - NYTimes.com

North Korea Vows to Attack South Over Propaganda - NYTimes.com
EOUL, South Korea — In the first aggressive threat by North Korea since a new leadership hierarchy was announced last month, the North vowed to attack South Korea if the South resumed a propaganda war along their border, the North’s official Korean Central News Agency said Friday.
With the youngest son of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-il, now officially in line to succeed him, the North vowed to destroy propaganda sites in the South with “physical strikes,” according to a military official who was not named in the K.C.N.A. report. Those sites would most likely include radio transmitters placed along the border.
“We do not want tension to intensify, nor will we ever condone any minor provocation or act of war that threatens peace,” the K.C.N.A. report said, in a translation by the Yonhap News Agency in Seoul.
The North Korean military official was also quoted as saying, “If the South does not stop anti-Pyongyang psychological broadcasts and the dissemination of leaflets, it will be met with our military’s strikes on those sites.”
It was not clear if the report was suggesting that broadcasts had been restarted by the South, and a spokesman for the South Korean Defense Ministry could not be reached for comment early Saturday morning.
On Oct. 5, just days after a meeting of the North Korean Workers’ Party, the South Korean defense minister, Kim Tae-young, said his military had expanded its system of loudspeakers along the border and was prepared to send helium balloons into North Korea carrying AM radios and propaganda leaflets. He said a new propaganda war would be initiated if the South was provoked.
The North has previously warned that its artillery will fire across the border to destroy the loudspeakers if the broadcasts resume. It also said it would shut down a jointly operated industrial complex in a North Korean town, Kaesong.
The language in the latest K.C.N.A. report was relatively restrained. The agency often issues bellicose threats against South Korea and the United States, employing a vivid vocabulary that resembles the propaganda broadsides and baleful slogans used by the former Soviet Union.

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